We believe our success comes from a strong commitment to uphold the legacy and integrity of the Great Harvest brand. Great Harvest is about customer experience and the promise of phenomenal tasting products made with freshly-milled whole grain and pure and simple ingredients.
We create, share, and teach the tools that franchise owners use to personalize their local bakeries and achieve their unique goals within the context of the Great Harvest franchise agreements. To support the success of our owners, we teach and actively model the Mission Statement:
Be Loose and Have Fun.
Bake Phenomenal Bread.
Run Fast to Help Customers.
Create Strong & Exciting Bakeries.
And Give Generously to Others. ®
When individual Great Harvest bakery owners succeed and grow the entire Great Harvest franchise family benefits. Through the collective knowledge we share, and the Learning Community we facilitate, Great Harvest Franchising, Inc. remains the envy of the franchise industry.
Our goal is to recruit the nicest, most generous, honest and authentic people we can find. We attract candidates who love learning for the plain fun of it, who see business as an adventure and an excuse to play. We introduce them to our Learning Community, which supports the entrepreneurial spirit and helps them TRULY do their own thing, make their own mistakes, have their own successes, while being 100 percent themselves.
Whole Wheat Bread
We love whole wheat bread. That's because our whole wheat bread, made with freshly ground flour and pure and simple ingredients, tastes incredible. There's just something about the way that nutty, rich taste of wheat combines with honey, yeast and salt that keeps customers coming back. It's what made us famous and continues to endear us to a broad array of happy customers.
If you look at most franchises, they began when some smart person figured out a way to make some money by writing a recipe down and inviting others to copy it. The great thing about these sorts of franchises is that they aren't very risky for the person joining the franchise. The business is, after all, proven.
Most franchises of this variety require owners to do things the franchise’s way, with little or no variation. Cookie cutter-style. That's because the franchisor is trying to build a national brand, the foundation of which is consistency. The problem with this sort of franchise, if you're an entrepreneur-type, is that they aren't very much fun. All the good stuff about opening your own business — figuring out what you want to offer and what color the walls will be — aren't your decisions to make. They've already been made for you.
At the other end of the spectrum is starting up and running your own independent startup. There you have all the freedom in the world to create this thing just the way you want, but you're flying solo, with no one else to lean on. That's why so many start-ups fail.
We provide an alternative with some of the advantages of a traditional franchise and some of the fun of a "let's-do-it-all-ourselves" start-up. Our philosophy is simple: let's create unique neighborhood bakeries that are a reflection of the Great Harvest brand and the bakery owner. We are no cookie cutter franchise. We are a freedom-based, healthy franchise that encourages excellence and individuality (not to mention a spirit of fun and generosity).
Do you want to become the world's next gazillionaire or do you want to have a wonderful quality of life? We expect every bakery to succeed based on the owner's definition of success. When bakeries grow, it means more people are eating great bread. But we don't love growth so much that we let it blind us to what we want from life or endanger the thing we've already built. To us, there is a balance somewhere between stagnation and chaos. It's called sustainable growth. That's what we're all about.
"Designing a Life"
Owning and running a bakery is about our owners making good lives for themselves and their families. It is not the other way around. Their lives are not somehow in service of this business. That means we expect Great Harvest bakery franchise owners to keep doing this thing so long as it's fun and makes their lives fuller. Not a minute longer.
When you open a Great Harvest bakery, there aren't many rules about how to run your store. Owners of each franchise do it their way, but within the context of a community of like-minded, like-talented and like-spirited owners. By connecting bakery owners and franchise staff together into a Learning Community, we all profit from 200+ minds and 30+ years of experience. (That’s about 6,000 years of collective Bread Business wisdom, if you’re counting).
For example, a delicious new recipe invented in Minnesota flew across the system because it is so tasty. A promo tip pioneered by bakeries in Washington D.C. was quickly picked up by bakeries across the Ohio River Valley and the Northwest because it produced great results. These free-flowing ideas keep the Bread Business as fresh as our phenomenal bread. Bakery owners support the entire system with ideas and feedback. It's collaboration at its best, and it provides an amazing competitive advantage.